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by
Rick Moran

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April 12, 2014 - 9:02 am

Iran would never come out and say openly, “Here’s a reminder of how we humiliated you 35 years ago by seizing your embassy and holding your people hostage.” Even for the cloistered leadership of Iran, that would be too obvious.

But neither are they basking in subtlety when they name a participant in that terrorist act as UN ambassador.

On Friday, the US State Department denied a visa to Hamid Abutalebi, an admitted member of the group of students who masterminded the taking of our embassy in Tehran in 1979. Mr. Abutalebi was destined to become the new Iranian ambassador to the UN.

Now the Iranians are saying that there isn’t anyone else who can do the job and they plan on taking the denial of the diplomat’s visa to the UN.

Reuters:

“We have no replacement for Mr. Abutalebi and we will pursue the matter via legal mechanisms envisioned at the United Nations,” Abbas Araghchi, a senior Foreign Ministry official, was quoted by Iran’s official IRNA news agency as saying.

“Based on an agreement with the United Nations, America is bound to act according to its international commitments,” Araghchi said, as quoted by IRNA. The United Nations said it had no comment at this time on the U.S. decision.

American law allows the Washington government to bar U.N. diplomats who are considered national security threats. But Obama’s potentially precedent-setting step could open the United States to criticism that it is wielding its position as host nation to improperly exert political influence.

Araghchi is also a top negotiator in Iran’s talks with big powers on defusing a stand-off over its disputed nuclear activity. Iran has said Washington’s rejection of Abutalebi will not affect the talks, whose next round is set for May 13.

Abutalebi says he served solely as a periodic translator for the Islamist students who seized the U.S. embassy hostages, and he has since evolved into a moderate figure favoring, like President Hassan Rouhani, a thaw in Iran’s ties with the West.

Since an uproar among former U.S. hostages and U.S. lawmakers over Abutalebi broke out, Tehran has steadfastly stuck by its choice, describing him as a seasoned diplomat who has served in various capacities in Western countries.

“Dr. Abutalebi is one of the most capable, experienced and rational diplomats in Iran,” Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told IRNA. He served as Iran’s U.N. envoy for eight years before taking his current job last year following Rouhani’s election on a pledge to ease Iran’s international isolation.

In comments posted on Facebook late on Friday, Abutalebi said the U.S. move against him set a “wrong new precedent.”

Vahi Ahmadiah, a hardline conservative cleric who heads the Iranian parliament’s foreign affairs and national security committee, said: “America has no right to inject its issues into an international matter. It has shown (here) its hostile nature again. It uses every chance to hit out at the Islamic Republic.”

It was unclear whether the matter might play into the hands of hardliners in Iran’s unwieldy power structure. They are keen to discredit Rouhani’s campaign to improve long-hostile relations with the West, especially Washington, but have been held in check for now by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Get that? It’s America’s fault if nuclear talks blow up because so-called “hardliners” in Iran will gain the upper hand if Abutalebi is denied his UN seat. If the imaginary “moderates” in the Iranian leadership came up with this clear, deliberate insult by sending a hostage taker back to America in triumph, how much worse can the hardliners be?

Does anyone really believe that the Iranians weren’t fully cognizant of the ruckus that would ensue by naming Abutalebi to a post in America? This is a government that, 35 years after the event, still requires its citizens to scream “Death to America” after Friday prayers. The hostage taking has been raised to mythical heights by the leadership, making it the seminal event in the creation of the Islamic state.

But the Iranians are surprised at our attitude?

I call bullcrap on that. Subsequently, no nation should be forced to endure such a deliberate and calculated insult as that being offered by the Iranians. How would they like it if we named William Rogers, captain of the USS Vincennes that mistakenly shot down an Iranian passenger aircraft in 1988, as our ambassador to Tehran if relations are ever restored?

The Obama administration should ignore whatever diktat comes from the UN about granting this hostage taker a visa. Most of the UN would like to see the US humiliated anyway, so rather than play into their hands, the administration should send a message that such insults will not be tolerated.

Rick Moran is PJ Media's Chicago editor and Blog editor at The American Thinker. He is also host of the"RINO Hour of Power" on Blog Talk Radio. His own blog is Right Wing Nut House.

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All Comments   (12)
All Comments   (12)
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I was in the Navy during the Iranian hostage crisis and remember it well. The fact that the U.S. government is even allowing anyone from the Iranian government to step foot on our soil, is just sickening to me. If we do manage to get the WH, I hope he/she will put a stop to this!
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
“Dr. Abutalebi is one of the most capable, experienced and rational diplomats in Iran and everyone else here is busy mutilating the genitals of young girls and having sex with children!" said some crazy moon cultist. I doubt Obama the Coward is even aware his visa was denied.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obama will be "b!tch-slapped" by the UN, sign an Executive Order that allows this Iranian criminal into the country & includes an apology to Iran concluding with "Allah Akbar"!!
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
Given that this year’s Midterms will determine the success or failure of Comrade’s last two years it’s possible he will want to avoid giving the GOP something more to bash dems with or be responsible for putting something out there that might actually prod the average, lazy LIV into doing some real thinking for a change. But Comrade’s well-documented track record of doing this country harm says that just about anything is possible.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
Maybe if we bombed the crap out of their nuclear facilities, they would stop gloating. And Israel would breathe easier, too.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
And the Iranians would declare open season on anything in the Strait of Hormuz. Expect a substantial increase in gas prices and the damage or loss of one or more US Navy vessels.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
The gas we can sell doesn't go through Hormuz, and we don't buy gas from Iran anyway. They insist in having nukes, and the world blames them (in practice if not out loud) for the fallout.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
Last I heard, they're deep underground.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
Doesn't really matter. Collapse the tunnel entrances and the mountainside containing them in a robust enough manner and bomb the electrical grid. It will be a long long time before they can dig themselves out. I'd love to scribble "to Teheran with love" on the sides of the bombs or missiles just like I did back in the 'Nam days when the greeting was " To Ho Chi Min with love from the boys on USS...."
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
Do we know the location of all the facillities? I bet the Israelis do.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
The day after the Murrah building was bombed back in '95, I called the Iranian embassy at the UN and gave them a good cussing. When it turned out that it was done by one of our own, I had a brief "oopsie" moment. Very brief.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes, we still owe them for that, and several more.
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
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